August 28, 2008
August 27, 2008
Seriously, can we get these kids a label? I rarely hear unsigned bands I care enough to scream from the rooftops about but this band will be my first. They remind me of a more complex Rainer Maria or Death Cab with the guitar magic of Polvo.
They are top notch indie rock with all the twist and turns of a world class roller coaster.
The FBI has arrested someone for leaking the perpetually postponed Guns-N-Roses debacle 'Chinese Democracy'. Personally, I feel that the arrest was justified, not for the posting of the songs, but for still being interested in this so called album. Either way, it shows that Axl IS actually working on songs and that he might, at some point, stop disappointing the CD buying public, and go back to disappointing the concert going public. On the other hand, he may have just arrested his only remaining fan.
Click HERE for the official story.
mr. Gnome - Night of The Crickets
I first heard about mr. Gnome and (later) this video on I Rock Cleveland. mr. Gnome's music is both ethereal and heavy - maybe what you'd get if Bjork did a record on Hydrahead. This video is simply mindblowing: a dream following its own logic with images and characters seeping up from the subconscious. Oh, just watch it.
She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here
I like the recent She & Him record for what it is - Zooey Deschanel singing charmingly over M. Ward's retro-inspried arrangements. However, I have to admit that it's pretty tame stuff. So, when I was watching this video at a friend's house this last weekend, I was ... well amazed AND disturbed.
TOTAL DANCE 2008
VOL. 2-TOTAL DANCE 2008
ONLY THROUGH THE PAIN
ONE DAY AS A LION
ONE DAY AS A LION
SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES
RA RA RIOT
TWIST IN MY STORY
2008 WARPED TOUR COMPILATION
WE STARTED NOTHING
LONG ROAD OUT OF EDEN
LIVE FROM NOWHERE IN PARTICULA
August 26, 2008
In case you haven't noticed, Muxtape has been shut down due to issues with the RIAA - IE if music is being shared without artists / labels being compensated. No compensation= lawsuit city.
There is a new "legal" version of Muxtape called : http://8tracks.com/ . You can listen to or a create a mix of 8 songs and listeners can search the site by artist or genre and then stream a mix / your mix.
I believe one of the whole reasons Mutape was a hit (besides people's warm and fuzzy feelings for a good mix) was because music fans had access to weird rare stuff not found in a typical music library. The irony here is that the major labels with "hit" artists are the ones who are filing these law suits yet it really isn't their catalog that receives the most attention on a site like Muxtape. These kinds of sites lean more toward the unreleased and hard to find if not out of print music. The kind of stuff most majors don't / can't make money off of.
Don't get me wrong, I am happy to see artists getting reimbursed for the art they make but will a group who put out one garage 7" back in 1968 from Malaysia see any money from this new and improved "legal" format? To put it simply and honestly, no. There is no way to reimburse these kinds of artists, the exact kind of artists / records that define your average serious record collector's prized collection. In this battle of music fans verse the age old issue of the cost of public performance licensing rights it's hard to say if there will ever be a happy middle ground.
This is where things get really complicated.
We are part of an exciting new generation who doesn't have to swallow the force fed hits the music industry (this goes for Film & TV too) is trying to stuff us with. Thanks to the Internet we have access to the largest variety of material in music history and the catalog is growing by the second making it nearly impossible to monitor and manage.The more variety we are exposed to the more modern day music fans are hungry for obscure material but I don't think the music industry knows how to embrace this reality quite yet. Companies like Amazon and iTunes have a grasp on it but the record companies appear to be floundering under the pressure to keep up with technology and the average consumer while trying to do what all businesses ideally want to do, make money.
Niche music - the never ending divisions of genres to sub genres and so on are much harder to keep track of no less stay on top of. Instead of making money off of a few thousand mega hit artists from around the world the music biz has seen the death of the superstar artist (yes they still exist but none carrying the same sales numbers that these kinds of artist had 15 plus years ago) and are left scratching their heads as to how to cash in on all these splinter groups, the micro-hit artists which sell 1 one millionth of say The Backstreet Boys. These micro-hit artists (Arcade Fire, Bloc Party, Cat Power...) are like herding wild rabbits and as time goes on, they multiply endlessly as more and more people from around the world have access to computers. Music is flooding a cyber market place that doesn't own a saturation point and while there is more compitition than ever to be discovered, a band for the first time in the history of recorded music also has access to potential fans all over the world seconds after posting their music on-line.
So is charging a blanket licensing fee to any and all places that stream music (radio or Internet) the only way to finacially counteract the loss of traditional sales of a full length record in the market place and guarentee an artist a monitary reward for their music? If people aren't buying full length records any more (in physical or web stores) and fans are either cherry picking or stealing single tracks it doesn't come as any shock to me that record companies and artists are trying to protect their bottomline any way they can.
I know there are quite a few people out there who believe music should be free but I am not one these people. As both an artist and a fan I believe listening to music is a privilege and not a right. I believe a musicians' work of art carries a monetary value and they deserve to be given that money for their work.
The problem here is that music companies and artists trying to make a living off their art haven't found the correct business model to keep up with the ever changing landscape of the Internet no less stay on top of how music fans are feeding their music listening / buying habits. Music consumers kick and scream every time a company takes action to protect an artist's right (and the people who helped to develop that artist) to get paid so where is that happy middle ground between the two clashing groups? Does it or can it ever exist? After 20 years in the "business" I feel more unsure about the answer than ever.
Most of you reading this blog have probably already read this book but if you haven't check out The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less, you should right away. It investigates the death of the blockbuster and how the market is trending now using simple terminology.
August 25, 2008
At a K-Ci and JoJo concert in Sydney, Australia JoJo seemingly had trouble preforming to the point where he passed out ONSTAGE, and laid there for a almost minute, with no one helping him! K-Ci kept singing and a rather large man slowly walked over, picked up the dropped microphone and brought it offstage, leaving the performer lying face down.
This attention to the mic and disregard for the state of the artist leads me to believe that the large man in question must work for the record label.
Thanks to D-Lee for this news-flash.
August 22, 2008
Björk writes "Time To Put It Right"
i saw in the last issue of iceland's newspaper in english : "grapevine" , that valgeir sigurðsson was credited for having written all the instrumentals for my album vespertine . could i please offer a correction :i have noticed last 7 years that mr. sigurðsson has often been credited for either writing or producing that album . i..d like to say that he didn..t write it or produce . he was a computer programmer for a third of it and a recording engineer for a third . The other two thirds were done by other engineers and programmers .here is the creditlist to show you the correct crediting of vespertine .i don..t understand where that misunderstanding has come fromcould be one of four options :
1 :the pop critics of this world have not totally yet worked out the difference between engineering , programming , writing and producing electronic music . visually this appears very similar . a man/woman sitting in front of a computer . not as different as for example a drummer , a brass arranger and an engineer . but these are 3 completely different jobs which journalists must start to see the difference
2: it could be that this is some degree of sexism . m.i.a. had to deal with this with the respected website pitchfork.com where they assumed that diplo had produced all of her kala album without reading any credit list or nothing , it just had to be , it couldn..t have been m.i.a. herself ! it feel like still today after all these years people cannot imagine that woman can write , arrange or produce electronic music . i have had this experience many many times that the work i do on the computer gets credited to whatever male was in 10 meter radius during the job . people seem to accept that women can sing and play whatever instrument they are seen playing .but they cannot program , arrange , produce , edit or write electronic music .
3 : i..ll admit that one thing could confuse things : people have to use their ears and actually read the creditlist to get this information . all the music i have made : like for example string arrangements , synthbasslines or programming of electronic patterns , i never play myself live because i want to give 100% of myself into the singing i either ask the computers to play it or i get other musicians to play it . this could confuse things .
4: one thing that could have kept this misunderstanding alive is that neither me nor valgeir sigurðsson have bothered to correct it but i am doing it now. i hope this correction will be a positive input into more discussion about this.
p.s. just read that pitchfork.com credited nico muhly for the choir arrangement of "hidden place" from vespertine . also that he has done string arrangements for me . this is not true . journalists : please read the creditlist before you write your articles
August 21, 2008
Fri Sept 12- Black Cat 15th Anniversary Party w/ GRAY MATTER (Original Lineup) performing Take It Back, THE SHIRKS, DOMINO TEAM $10 Mainstage 9:00
August 20, 2008
Thanks for reading and hi-fives all around to my friends who take the time to post and leave comments.
I was so excited about this 10k number that I took to the woods with my friends from Narnia to party hard with swords (I am so bad ass that I required two swords) and pouches across our chests (I am so bad ass that I don't do pouches).
What can I say, this girl knows how to get crazy.
August 19, 2008
I had never given much thought to the dark side of music before but learning about the number of people who suffer from afflictions where music literally tortures them internally was disturbing while illuminating none the less. He goes on to describe how music also plays an important role in therapy for individuals suffering from strokes to Parkinson's disease. Music can actually breathe life into people otherwise frozen and unable to express themselves or communicate at all. The general gist of this is we have only just begun to understand all the powers and healing properties music carries for humanity.
Sack's book explores the curious ways music can live inside our body's and does so with the delicacy and analytical finesse of a sensitive detective.
Here are a few clips of Sacks discussing a few themes found in his book.
August 18, 2008
1. Ida Maria - "Oh My God"
Ida Maria Børli Sivertsen is from Nesna in Norway, currently living in Sweden. This song's been floating around for maybe 6 months or so, but it still absolutely jams. "Is this fun for you?" she asks, and I have say fuck yeah.
2. Jaguar Love - "Bats Over The Pacific Ocean"
Jaguar Love is two dudes from The Blood Brothers and one dude from Pretty Girls Make Graves. This song's driving rhythm makes it perfect for summer roadtrips and other reckless pursuits. Gratuitous use of the word "shit" makes it inappropriate for daytime radio play, sadly. The debut album Take Me To The Sea is out tomorrow, August 19.
3. I Heart Hiroshima - "Punks"
I first heard this song about a week ago courtesy a podcast from MIT's radio station WMBR. Brisbane's I Heart Hiroshima released their debut album Tuff Teef about a year ago and for some reason the blogosphere didn't just go nuts over this incredible track (let's blame the crazy American vs. Australian dollar fluctuations). I haven't heard the rest of the album (fear not, it's on the hard drive) but based on this song and the rest of their myspace tracks they seem to have a pretty solid future ahead of them.
August 17, 2008
This looks like more a drag queen playing L.A. grunge rocker dress up or a MAD TV sketch but I have been assured that this really is Donita and that L.A. still takes bands that look and and sound this terrible seriously. This almost makes me think Juliette & the Licks aren't so bad after all.
I can't say L7 were mighty enough to state oh how the might have fallen but I can't deny my love for the early L7 records or how the seeing them live made the idea of being a girl in a band seem like something I wanted in on. I just pray I age a little less Trash and Vaudeville.
August 15, 2008
Sadly I never made it to the Pinball Museum because I never had an evening open to go but I do however have a few seconds to post this week's Friday Flashcard, a Death Metal band from Las Vegas.
The songs on their MySpace page are ridiculously mixed so the vocals are waaaay up front and the guy sounds like a Lerch trying to slurp out of an empty cup using a straw.
August 14, 2008
Towards the end of the evening we had several of our artists performing for this event - I will leave out the company names just to be respectful of the fact that this is all tied into my work. Anyhow, Elliott Yamin performed just a few songs but as you might guess, the Richmond singer who has a voice like old Al Green and warm butter combined made the crowd very happy and the ladies weak at the knees.
My night ended with yet another private performance, this time by LL Cool J playing to a room of about 500 very lucky people. LL put on an incredible super energetic show including lots of ladies from the audience dragged on stage to dance and get close to all they sexy brown sugar, long stem roses handed out to about a dozen women in the crowd (hells yeah I got one!), dousing himself with fancy bottled water for that Urban wet look, one of the best mic stands of all time, the hot combo of crotch grabbing with the gesture of him licking four of his fingers as if to, um.... lubricate a lady partner in a romantic way, a fist full of dollars tossed into the crowd, and set list that mixed old classics and songs from his new record.
August 13, 2008
August 12, 2008
What I have listened to lately:
Beck - Modern Guilt
The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Black Kids - Partie Traumatic
MIA - Kala
U2 - War / Boy / October (my least favorite record of the three) deluxe versions
CSS - Donkey
She & Him - Volume 1
Jean Grea - Jeanius
Tea Leaf Green - Raise Up the Tent
Metro Station - S/T
Beck - Modern Guilt sounds like the direction I wished Air had moved towards over the years. I found myself shrugging my shoulders every time I saw this CD out in the bin at record stores but this one took me by surprise. I really liked it - enough to at the very least play it a few more times to decide if I want to own it. Danger Mouse has done Beck good. Darn good.
The Hold Steady - Never got this band (the non singer aspect doesn't curdle my cream), all their songs sound the same to me and each new record just makes me imagine how their crazed fans will behave when they tour next. It will be a sea of dudes in baseball hats and khaki shorts raising their plastic cups of beers every time the band mentions beer or booze...which is often. Now, even more often.
Black Kids - somewhere a dogs ear are perked up wondering where that whining dying animal sound is coming from. The keyboard scream on this record like nails on a chalkboard- it is absolute overkill on the wacky synth lines. Its like Bis ten years later and that didn't need to happen.
MIA - Kala - Some records just don't work in my home. The sounds booms out of the speakers and then plays dead on the floor. MIA sounds wild and makes me want to shimmy when I hear it out somewhere but in my living room I feel like I am throwing a party that nobody came to.
U2 - This band was a big part of my grade school and high school years. I liked them. No I think if you had asked me when I had a failed perm and a training bra on I would have said I loved them deeply. I can't remember the last time I played a U2 record - maybe 10 years ago when the Sunny Day guys were telling me how influenced they were by them and I wanted to hear it for myself. I think the first thing that strikes me as I play these deluxe / remastered version is how weird it is that I still know all the words and I can't help but sing along or even worse, mouth along like I really mean it and am feeling every single syllable, line, verse, and chorus. I literally can't control myself, its like I am possessed by Bono which is a little creepy. Thank God I work alone and I pray that my husband won't come home from work early and catch me. The CDs production wise sound great and the songs have really held up over the years. I wasn't sure how I would feel about them after all these year but all I am really thinking is shame on me for waiting this long to give them another spin. These are easily as good as the old Echo and the Bunnymen early records (which I play quite often) so I don't know what the problem was here. Whatever it is I am on the path to fixing it.
CSS- This sounds like a fiesta I am not sure I want to go to. There is nothing more awkward than a good time band treading in semi-serious rock territory. I however do like this more than the new Breeders record. Now there was a bummer of a record I was sure I was going to worship. CSS in the now is reminding me of some other stuff too, Bis...again - too weird I know, Pretty Girls, Ladytron, Le Tigre...I think you see where I am going with this.She & Him - Can't we just stick with the fact that Zooey Deschanel is cute and can act. Really, does she need to make a record too. Wasn't her glorious singing in the shower scene in Elf enough? We certainly didn't need a record from Scarlett Johansson but on the other hand she is the kind of eye candy that a bad Tom Waits ode doesn't cancel her sex appeal to me. I don't like the ladies in, you know, that way, but I am not blind. The girl is easy on the eyes. Anyhow, back to She& Him. The music is spectacular as one can expect from M. Ward but after listening to Zooey as a singer...which in fairness, she is fairly good at, her voice doesn't make your arm hair stand up. She lacks passion and energy. Sorry, this is a novelty record to me. Her voice is on key enough for something like a commercials on TV or radio but this record doesn't make me look forward to a Volume 2.
Jean Grae - Why oh why does every MC have to build such a crowded house? Every inch of this record is covered in verse and carefully rhymed which makes this a tedious listen BUT there aren't as many lady MCs out there so I will take what I can get. I appreciate hearing a woman's voice in a very male dominated genre. 9th Wonder is her production partner here and I am a little surprised at how mild the beats are. The dynamic spirit of the record lacks any serious highs and lows. It falls somewhere in the middle making it a smooth ride but not exactly an exciting one.
Adele - At last, a woman with some curves to distract the UK press from dwelling on Beth from the Gossip. She has been hyped to be a more mellow Amy Winehouse / Duffy / Kate Nash but all that really means is the girl is British and has a smokey classic 60s influenced jazz voice. As her title suggests Adele is 19 and while the press can beat her up all the want for falling short of all the vocal powerhouses in the spotlight as of late, this girl has a hell of a voice. The record carries a mix of styles but I like her best when it is just her and light instrumentation. She gets lost in the numbers with big production but until she finds the right mix, which I am sure in time she will find, this makes her debut what is should be. 19 is the solid ground floor to an artist going up.
Tea Leaf Green- Eeeeek - a favorite opening band for Phish. File under Jam band and never to played in my home again.
Metro Station - Sweet Jesus. Miley Cyrus is taking over the fucking world. This band features her 1/2 brother which is icky enough but then imagine The Faint dry humping Fall Out Boy. Unless you are a disturbed and emotionally unstable adult with a tweener fetish I would beg you to avoid this record. In fact maybe we should do everyone a favor and take the record from store shelves and hide it in places kids won't find them. We need to make sure this doesn't make it into the hands of impressionable youth. There is enough crap out there already.
The only records I will listen to again:
Beck + U2's War + Boy
August 11, 2008
I've been transferring a bunch of demo versions of my old band Dahlia Seed into my computer today and it struck me listening back to all these songs that while I started out with a heavy influence of bands like Velocity Girl, the mid period DS material sounds a lot like I wanted to be a member of Seaweed.
Anyhow here is what it says on Seaweed's MySpace Blog -
Sep 6 2008
Dantes--music northwest show
Oct 17 2008
somewhere in Austin
Oct 18 2008
some where in houston
Friday, August 08, 2008
As you seee we have booked some new shows!if your planning on going to see us in Portland at Dante's here's a little heads up!
Owen "The Bass Player" Atkin's killer rock act the FKING EAGLES will be playing a few bands before us- so the dude will be clocking double duty- make sure to show up early to hear his sweet voice and witness his epic guitar riffage!speaking of sweet voices and epic guitar riffage!?!
Aaron Stauffer " the singer" , will be performing as STAUFFER;the one person band -showcasing his rare breed of lo-fi pop indie dance damage.This will be a happening the night prior to the SEAWEED show(Sept 6th) at a Portland club called ROTTURE- STAUFFER is playing first at 8 p.m.- STAUFFER plays drums, keys, guitar and sings with no help from loops, samples, computers or normal person stuff (out there!)
In other SEAWEED NEWS.. our new drummer Jessie Fox 's fronts a band called TO THE WAVES and they will be releasing a album. to mark this release ,on this FRIDAY August 15 they will perform at ye old HELLS KITCHEN in Tacoma with help from the ultra rad metal styling of LOZEN.. don't miss out!
Also We (SEAWEED) are writing album and plan to record and release it ( I promise)
August 10, 2008
Hopefully I will have a few good stories and pictures to share from the trip but in the meantime I am not sure how often I will be able to post on the site.
August 8, 2008
The name of the band can be found in the comments section.
August 6, 2008
I got an update from Nyles today so I thought I would pass it along. Nyles sang on my record Decimal and I am a huge fan of his music (N Lannon) so I am happy to know he is up to good things. Check out his email below.
August 3rd, 2008
New song available on Itunes
A new song I wrote, Train, is in a movie out now in the US called American Teen, directed by Nanette Burstein. The movie is playing in most major cities. It earned Ms. Burstein the Directing Award this year at Sundance.
The soundtrack, released by Columbia Records, also includes The Ting Tings, The New Pornographers, MGMT, Does it Offend You Yeah, Black Kids, the Unicorns and others. It is available in all major music stores as well as Amazon and Itunes. You can buy my song individually on Itunes, just search for American Teen.
New Facebook page
If you are a member of Facebook, I have built a music page there. Come check it out and keep in touch. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nyles-Lannon/12346415874
August 5, 2008
Check out a great review of it here.
The title of the record pretty much sums up the running theme of the record in a nutshell.
My favorite track has to be from a band called The News titled "From the Moon" Besides all the kooky space effects on all the instruments and voices, the lyrics "We come from the moon / we looking for bees" makes this song an out of this world hit in my book. It is in fact those are the only lyrics to the song at all. Genius!
I was curious to know more about this band and wouldn't you know it, someone was kind enough to give them a Myspace page. The Moon song is not featured on the page but be sure to check out this great band from Lebanon. They are easily the coolest thing to come from there since the character Clinger from MASH. I kid, I am sure there are all sorts of killer stuff from Lebanon but I am too square and too clueless to know about.
The record version of Scheherazade is limited to 500 copies so I would say if you are tempted to pick up the LP the time to do so is now.
August 4, 2008
My better half saw them open up for Love is All in NYC and became an instant fan, returning home with all the merch they had for sale including their band shirt on his back. He hates just about every new band so this kind of enthusiasm is rare for him. I took that as a sign that maybe this trio of ladies were worth checking out for myself.
We are big fans of fuzzy jangle twee pop here and Vivian Girls make a lovely racket producing just that. Websites are fast to compare them to The Vaselines or Jesus and Mary Chain but the band's MySpace page list of influences is much closer to the truth - Black Tambourine, The Wipers, and The Shangri-Las. It also wouldn't be a stretch to say if you like the Shop Assistants you would probably like Vivan Girls too.
Their LP was originally pressed on Mauled by Tigers but all 500 copies were instantly snapped up making it scary collectable before its time. (Ebay = $50 and up) For those of you who weren't hip to the band in time to score the original copy In The Red Records has signed the band and is re-releasing the LP in September with a new 7" single coming any day now.
For you local types they are playing in DC at DC9 next Wed, 8/13.
August 3, 2008
Artist - Marvin Rainwater (1/4 Native American)
Title - Sings with a Heart, with a Beat
Label - This is a reissue LP from 1984 on Bear Family Records. Word is the original on MGM from 1958 goes for $100 + because it is considered a rockabilly collectible
Hometown - Kansas
You can read about him here and here.
Rainwater never had a #1 country hit but he had a brief stint with fame when his single "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird" made it to the top 5. (also made it to the Pop charts which makes it a rare crossover hit) He released plenty of other great singles but none had the popularity that his first one had.
Marvin's music is a great mix of up tempo Western Swing with humor, attitude, and a deep voice that will have you thinking of songs like "Big Bad John". The B-side of this recording features nearly all duets including songs with Patty Rainwater (sister) and Connie Francis but side A is so good that you may have a hard time ever making it to side B.